Crashing a virtual funeral: morality in MMORPGs

Crashing a virtual funeral: morality in MMORPGs Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline a case where people's intuitions regarding the ethical status of an action performed in a massively multiplayer online role‐playing game are divided, and provide an argument to resolve this division. Design/methodology/approach – This paper takes a philosophical approach, from the analytical tradition. It details the main arguments for each side and provides counter‐arguments in order to indicate the salient points. Findings – The paper argues that, of the three arguments for the morality of particular virtual action outlined in this paper, none are satisfactory. An argument for the immorality of the action in questions based upon the fairness/sportsmanship distinction is offered. Originality/value – The development of case‐based ethical studies, which draw upon current and controversial events within popular virtual environments, are useful in the construction of a deeper understanding of moral action within such spaces. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society Emerald Publishing

Crashing a virtual funeral: morality in MMORPGs

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-996X
DOI
10.1108/14779960911004516
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline a case where people's intuitions regarding the ethical status of an action performed in a massively multiplayer online role‐playing game are divided, and provide an argument to resolve this division. Design/methodology/approach – This paper takes a philosophical approach, from the analytical tradition. It details the main arguments for each side and provides counter‐arguments in order to indicate the salient points. Findings – The paper argues that, of the three arguments for the morality of particular virtual action outlined in this paper, none are satisfactory. An argument for the immorality of the action in questions based upon the fairness/sportsmanship distinction is offered. Originality/value – The development of case‐based ethical studies, which draw upon current and controversial events within popular virtual environments, are useful in the construction of a deeper understanding of moral action within such spaces.

Journal

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in SocietyEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 30, 2009

Keywords: Ethics; Role play; Video games

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